Buster Posey

Down on the Farm: John Barr compares Joey Bart, Buster Posey as prospects

Down on the Farm: John Barr compares Joey Bart, Buster Posey as prospects

Joey Bart is not a new name to the Giants. John Barr, the braintrust to the Giants' scouting of amateur and international players, has been watching him play since he was in high school, at the Cape Cod Baseball League and all throughout his career at Georgia Tech. 

Barr is paying close attention to Bart as the No. 2 overall pick is making his presence felt in the name of dingers to start his professional career. Through eight games with Short Season Salem-Keizer, Bart has six home runs and 14 RBI. 

"It's been a pleasure actually watching him turn into the player that he's been," Barr said Friday on KNBR. "He's really come a long way with his defense and his offense."

The way Bart has started his career has fans buzzing with Buster Posey comparisons. From the moment the Giants drafted the 21-year-old, he was seen as Posey's future replacement. Nobody knows the progression of the two better than Barr, who scouted both catchers from high school on. 

"I don't like to do comparisons, but they're both leaders," Barr said. He then went on to look at where both players stood at this point of their career coming out of the MLB Draft. 

"Having been able to watch them both develop ever since they were in high school -- Bart's a bigger guy, more physical that way. He probably has as much or more raw power than Posey had at this stage. But at the same time, Buster, from a standpoint of swinging the bat, making contact and being able to be a plus-hitter, we may have seen more of a pure bat from him in that standpoint." 

During Bart's junior year at Georgia Tech this year, Barr was on hand to see him play Posey's alma mater, Florida State. With one swing, Barr left with a sight that won't leave him any time soon. Bart took an inside fastball and blasted it over the left-field fence against the Seminoles. 

"It was one of the farthest balls that I've seen hit in a long time," Barr remembers vividly. 

Though Bart could be a quick riser through the minor leagues, Barr made it clear he doesn't want to rush the catcher this season as he has been playing since January. For now, Bart will keep developing as a catcher and erupting at the plate as a Volcano. 

With a hip screaming for cortisone, Posey delivers walk-off hit: 'He's just a whole different animal'

With a hip screaming for cortisone, Posey delivers walk-off hit: 'He's just a whole different animal'

SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey has known for weeks, possibly months, that he would need a cortisone shot in his inflamed hip following the final game of the first half. After making his sixth All-Star team Sunday, he admitted that he needed rest and rehab more than a night with the game’s biggest stars.

Posey caught 11 innings in Monday’s win and then helped six Giants pitchers maneuver their way through the first 10 innings of a Wednesday marathon with the Cubs. 

He could be forgiven, then, for mental or physical fatigue. Instead, Posey raised his game a notch in extra innings. A single off the wall in the 13th clinched a 5-4 win for the Giants, but it was something Posey did an hour earlier that so impressed a rookie teammate who knows a thing or two about catching.

When Dereck Rodriguez entered in the 11th for an emergency relief appearance, he tried to keep it business as usual. Posey had other ideas. The veteran catcher started changing Rodriguez’s usual pitch sequencing. After hours of grueling baseball, Posey kept finding new ways for Rodriguez to attack hitters. In one spot, against pinch-hitter Willson Contreras, an All-Star, Posey called for an outside changeup, a pitch Rodriguez never features. Contreras struck out. 

“Those were pitches I hadn’t thrown all year,” Rodriguez said.

After working with Rodriguez to get through the 11th, 12th and 13th, Posey slammed a 97 MPH fastball from a right-hander making his debut off the bricks. The walk-off was the eighth of the season for the Giants and gave them a needed series win over the Cubs. 

"He's just a whole different animal," Rodriguez said. "Buster is a future Hall of Famer. What do you expect?"

The win came after plenty of frustrating moments — the lineup left 15 on base — but validated a lot of good work. Johnny Cueto showed improvement. Chase d’Arnaud hit a lead-off homer as the lineup finally got to a lefty starter. The bullpen was dominant, capped by Rodriguez, who threw three shutout frames to put an exclamation point on his breakout first half. 

The right-hander’s lengthy day means Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija and Andrew Suárez will face the A’s this weekend. Posey should catch at least two of the games, and then when it’s over, a needle will be put in his hip. 
It’s been a countdown to cortisone, but Posey said that hasn’t felt particularly weird about the situation. He has a job to do, no matter how long it might take on any given day. 

“It’s something I’ve been dealing with throughout the year,” Posey said. “It’s not anything new.”

Our fixation on legacies has latched onto Buster Posey and it needs to stop

Our fixation on legacies has latched onto Buster Posey and it needs to stop

It is almost disrespectful to raise the notion that Buster Posey’s career is winding down. Institutional players get a pass from such mundane analyses, and for the most part, they have that coming.

But he isn’t there yet, not because he has a bad hip. That’s not the sign of a career in decline. The sign of a career in decline is something more mundane, and more essentially nonsensical.

And that would be the inevitable punditocratic debate about whether Posey is a Hall of Famer.

And no, we are not having that here. That’s going to occur. Someone else can construct that particular torture chamber, because Buster Posey is not yet old enough or waning sufficiently in influence to have his legacy bandied about by amateurs.

I know you want to go there. I know you’re thinking about it, and you started thinking about it as soon as the Giants announced that he would miss the All-Star Game to get an injection. He is 32, he has lots of mileage on a catcher’s body, his numbers are declining and all that.

But once you cross the legacy threshold, you become an active participant in an athlete’s retirement. Legacy debates mean you are already thinking of an athlete in the past tense, and normally it is not their age but your sense of boredom that sparks such things.

Besides, legacy debates have helped ruin Tom Brady and LeBron James as conversation topics to the point where we are genuinely sick of them both even though we have no reason to be other than their essentially tedious excellence. They’re still playing, got it? They’re still alive, comprendo? When one of those two things stops being true, then you can go legacy on them.

But Posey has in all likelihood at least three years of service still to navigate, and unless he incurs an injury (say, to a hip) that becomes either chronic or catastrophic, he should be allowed those years.

This isn’t even about Posey anyway, if truth be told., It’s about our fixation on legacies. In no other business do we race so eagerly to get to the “is he done yet?” stage of a person’s career. In no other business does “What have you done for me lately?” transform so swiftly into “When can you stop doing it?”

Fact is, Buster Posey has plenty of time before his legacy needs to be discussed, and when it is discussed, the conversation will almost certainly be brief and laudatory. But I’m in no hurry, and you shouldn’t be either. If you need a legacy bone upon which to chew, go work on Carmelo Anthony. He’s about to lay waste to your second-least-favorite basketball team.